Facebook is the biggest social media network, no questions asked. But we associate hashtags with Twitter, Instagram and more recently Linkedin. We don’t think Facebook and think Hashtag!

I’m not saying that they don’t work. They probably do, for some business’. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never actually used Facebook to search for a hashtag. Have you? No I didn’t think so. Have you ever clicked on a hashtag on Facebook? Nope, I didn’t think so. People think that they are some kind of keyword bread crumb that needs laying out for their potential customers, or a badge of honour, and that’s how I think they end up there, but that’s not the case as they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

I don’t think it does much for reach and engagement to use Hashtags on FB either. I think people are apprehensive of posts with them on. So it will have the adverse effect, as I won’t like your post, nor will I share it on my feed as I just can’t endorse their use.

Hashtags, as I’ve mentioned work well on Twitter and IG. Instagram more so for categorising images, cultural movements and trends e.g. motivational Monday and for fun. Twitter hashtags work well for topical discussion and trending topics. Twitter tells you straight away about trending topics from the search screen (on mobile) so that you can join the bandwagon or catch up. I’ve certainly never seen this screen on FB without digging around.

But Facebook… Not so much. I think their use also comes from cross posting from IG to FB which is so tempting to do. Please don’t do it. They are different networks and that cute @handleinstagram when it ends up on your FB post, just looks like you don’t know what you are doing on FB.

I think to back this up also, we need to think how people use Facebook. I know a lot of users just put content out and don’t really read what other’s are posting, but that’s another story… As with Twitter, IG and now LinkedIn; hashtags can be a great way to grow your business, but there is a catch. You have to rely on those people trying to find you. If your audience is not typing the hashtag into the Facebook search bar (stay with me here), then they are not going to see your post. But people can only find you through hashtags if they are actively searching that hashtag. That is the same as with any other platform, but the difference is that Facebook users generally are not searching for hashtags.

It might get there one day, who knows. But I’d get the basics right first for Facebook. Plus you have more virtual room and white space for posting on FB the shorter that you can do a post.

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